Kobo books has been one of the darlings of the e-reader world over the course of the last year and Borders has conceded that they are the lesser online book power. Borders has officially announced that they are getting out of the ebook game and Kobo will take over their operations.
Kobo currently does the e-reader and ebook thing full time while Borders did it as a casual interest and put more effort into sustaining its bloated retail chain. Currently Kobo has over 2.2 million books in its online catelog including newspapers and magazines.
Borders is encouraging its existing user base to now download official Kobo branded reading applications for Android, iOS, Blackberry and many more. What if you are an existing Borders user and have already downloaded books? Do not fear, Kobo will honor all of your existing book purchases and copy them over for you. You can find more information on how to transfer your existing books with Borders to Kobo HERE.
So what does this mean for the future of Borders online presence in the realm of ebooks? Well they have for sure left the e-reader and ebook game to Kobo but the company is far from being done. They are launching two new services a blog and Book Club.
The new eBook club is on Borders.com and is featuring “The Story of Beautiful Girl” by Rachel Simon. Throughout June, Ms. Simon and the Borders Team will provide the back story behind the title, such as the research she conducted while writing, to give readers a one-of-a-kind book club experience. At the end of the month, Borders will host a Facebook chat with Ms. Simon, giving fans the opportunity to ask questions and engage with her on the book.
The other new project the company is launching is Borders eClectic Reader blog! Here customers can enjoy something different every day of the work week. Monday finds readers taking advantage of the Last Chance Deal, which offers great savings on select eBooks. Tuesdays feature the newest eBook releases, while Wednesday and Thursday find book lovers indulging in book trailers, author questions and answers, videos and musings by guest bloggers. On Fridays, customers can enjoy posts by guest authors and experts on a variety of engaging topics.
So it looks like Borders is moving away from eBooks and never even bothered to develop their own e-reader like Barnes and Noble did. Only time will tell if their new digital strategy will take off. It might be a good resource for authors and book lovers to get a little bit more information on their favorite writers and maybe interact with them. I seriously doubt Borders will really make any money off of these two new projects which at this point in the game, the company needs all the cashflow they can get.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.